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Full text of "A history of Persia"

LXIII            SHAH ABBAS THE GREAT            263
his was the main body. The manoeuvre succeeded admir-
ably, and a large body of Turks was detached to the rear
to meet, as they supposed, the Persian army. The result
was confusion; and a charge, in which Sir Robert Sherley
was wounded in three places, converted this into a panic
and rout. The Turkish leaders fought bravely to retrieve
the fortunes of the day, but in vain, and more than twenty
thousand heads were laid at the feet of the Shah, who by
this decisive battle freed his country and dynasty from
the stigma of inferiority to the Turks. The fruits of the
victory were great. Not only did Azerbaijan, Kurdistan,
Baghdad, Mosul, and Diarbekir fall to the Persians, but
their religious feelings were deeply gratified by the re-
covery of Kerbela, Najaf, and other sacred centres.
As may be supposed religious polemics raged during
these campaigns. An utterance by the Turkish Mufti
concluded thus : " I hope also from the divine Majesty,
that in the Day of Judgment he will make you serve
instead of Asses to the Jews, that that miserable Nation
which is the Contempt of the World, may mount and
trot with you to Hell/' The Persian reply was still
more insulting, but is too coarse to print. After long
negotiations, peace was concluded in 1612, Turkey agree-
ing to recognize the frontiers as they were in the reign of
Selim. By this act the Porte renounced all claim to the
conquests of Murad and Mohamed III. Shah Abbas, on
his side, agreed to give the Sultan two hundred loads of
silk annually.
This treaty was not long observed. The Shah did
not pay the stipulated silk, and he sent an expedition
against Georgia, which was held to be in the Ottoman
sphere of influence. In 1616 a powerful Turkish army
set out from Aleppo, and, being joined by contingents in
Asia Minor, laid siege to Erivan and other cities. This
campaign ended in disaster; for Erivan was not taken
and the Turkish army lost heavily from the cold while
retiring. Two years later an attempt was made on Tabriz
by means of a forced march, but failed because the
invaders fell into an ambuscade laid by the Governor of
Tabriz and suffered severe losses in consequence. Their